Most of us don't think we have the time to compare all the companies that provide us with gas, fuel, TV, insurance, electricity, broadband and mobile phone services. But it's actually easy – and not very time-consuming - to do it all online with special websites that make comparing and switching easy.
And then all you have to do is be a bit more organised about your expenses. Then pour all the money you save – plus whatever else you can afford - into a regular savings account. In a year, you could be mortgage-ready!
Read on for a few tips to get you going.
Shopping around for the best gas and electricity prices can save you €321 a year, according to Bonkers.ie. And the same site reckons you can cut another €300 off your bills for broadband/TV deals. You can also check out the various deals on such as Uchoose.ie and Uswitch.ie.
Potential annual saving: €621.
The average household literally chucks €700 in the bin every year.
That's the amount of food we throw out because it's left over or past its sell-by date. Four fifths of this is avoidable waste. So we can save €560 a year – and help the environment – by being a bit more careful in how we cook and shop.
Check out the Safefood.eu for lots of tips on how to cut your food bills.
Potential annual saving: €560
Cut your petrol costs by smarter driving and shopping around for fuel. Even an average car would burn up around €2,000 a year over 30,000km.
But we can save 5c a litre just by shopping around for petrol, according to the National Consumer Agency. That would knock €127 a year off our bills.
We can easily save another 10% - or €200 - by smarter driving. That's how much simple driving-efficiency tips saves the average motorist, according to research by the Automobile Association.
It found that some canny drivers even managed to cut their fuel bills by up to a third - potentially saving over €600 every year.
The tips are can be found in full on the AA website.
Potential annual savings: €727
A 25-year-old driver could save €625 a year on motor insurance, a 2013 survey by the National Consumer Agency found. Make a note of when your insurance is up for renewal and start comparing prices online a month earlier. In some cases you can save money on your insurance if you included a name driver on your policy. Also make sure you are not over estimating the resale value of your car as this could drive costs up. Check out the resale value of your car here.
Potential annual saving: €625
You can also save €675 a year by shopping around for health insurance costs, according to a report in the Irish Independent. You can easily compare plans online at the Health Insurance Authority's website.
Potential annual saving: €675
Pay off those pricey loans
There's little point in saving money, if you're paying ten times more in interest to service a long-running credit card debt. Neither will outstanding loans and a credit card deep in the red do any favours to your mortgage application.
If you're indebted with expensive loans, try to pay them off as soon as you can.
Paying off a €2,000 credit card debt (at 22.7% interest) would save you €434.
Potential saving: €434.
The above steps could help you save over €3,000 a year without even impacting your lifestyle. Now what are you going to do with all of those savings?
Getting a savings account
You can make the most of them by opening a regular savings account.
What better way to prove you're a regular saver – and get the best interest rates?
Salt away at least €100 with an account such as the EBS Family Savings Account.
This allows you to save up to €1,000 a month and make a maximum of one withdrawal a year without loss of interest. Make sure to set up a standing order from your bank account so you don't miss any payments and can show a regular savings record.
Thinking of saving for a house?
You can use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.
And if you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting today!
The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS Ltd.
EBS Ltd neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
EBS Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.